Vigan Cathedral (also known as St Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral) faces Plaza Salcedo, and is an imposing creamy-white building built in the "earthquake baroque" style with thick buttresses to support it through earthquakes and typhoons. A separate belltower (or belfry) was built 15 meters away from the main building -- so that if one structure was destroyed in an earthquake, then the other might still remain standing. The belltower is about 25 meters high and it is surmounted by a large bronze weathercock that is said to symbolize St Peter.
Inside you will see an impressive altar with hammered-silver panels.
The influence of Vigan's Chinese residents on the design of the cathedral may be seen in the two fu dogs on the outer doors and in the octagonal shape of the belltower.
The first church was built on this site in 1574 (by Juan de Salcedo) and was damaged in the earthquakes of 1619 and 1627. A second was built here in 1641; and the present baroque-style church was built in the 1800s.
Author: David Paul Wagner
(David Paul Wagner on Google+)